Grant to assist tourism re-think efforts: MareqetiViti

NatureFiji-MareqetiViti’s efforts to encourage and promote sustainable tourism in Fiji received a $80K-plus boost in Suva today.

The United States Embassy in Suva provided the local biodiversity conservation organisation a grant of $85,000 (US$40,000) to assist them in their work with five local eco tourism operators, in Leleuvia Resort, RiverFiji, Namosi Eco Retreat, Talanoa Treks and Kokomana, find alternative income sources within their area of operations to make up for their revenue shortfall whilst staying true to their objectives of being environmentally friendly.

“With the drop in income because of travel restrictions and low tourist arrivals, a lot of these businesses are affected. So we are looking at ways to support them, by looking at other sources of income, conduct financial literacy training to help them adapt to changes brought about by COVID-19, and stay in businesses and most importantly in ensuring it is done in an environmental and culturally responsible manner,” NatureFiji-Mareqeti Viti Director Nunia Thomas-Moko said.

“This is where it relates to our work at NatureFiji-Mareqeti Viti and form the basis of our interest in working with these operators to promote these kind of behaviour in the tourism space.”

NatureFiji-Mareqeti Viti is one of five recipients of the U.S. Embassy Economic Resilience Grant totalling $330,000 (US$155,000). The other recipients are Rotary Club of Savusavu, Corals for Conservation Teitei Livelihood Centre, Soqosoqo Vakamarama iTaukei and the lone Kiribati recipient being the Kiribati Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).

In announcing the recipients in Suva today, US ambassador to Fiji Joseph Cella said the goal of the grant is to bolster local organisations and associations that are finding creative solutions to the economic adversities caused by the pandemic, with a focus on projects related to developing tourism, entrepreneurship and trade with the United States.

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